5 Ad Design Tips For Creating A Powerful Advertisement

Last updated: March 15, 2023 | By Jed Dreben

Reading time: 6 minutes

Your product/service might be innovative, have a great design and be affordably priced. It may solve some of consumers’ biggest pain points. An ad campaign helps ensure your target audience knows what you sell and why they should buy it. Rule #1: Your ad campaign must be effective and grab your audience’s attention. If it’s not, they’ll turn to your competition.

Creating an ad campaign isn’t just a call to action to spend money with your business. While having your contact info and product information is important, a killer print ad increases brand awareness so your business’s name is the only one consumers think of when they’re looking for the product or service you sell.

How do you create that type of ad? A quick tutorial: The ad copy must be easy to read, images should be high-quality photos, the color scheme/graphic design should be on-brand and inviting and your offer must be clear and concise.

That might sound overwhelming for both beginners and seasoned advertisers but we’re going to walk you through some basic design elements strong advertisements utilize. We’ve selected 5 favorite ads and will review the ad design tips that make us love them so you can start designing print ads (and even digital ads!) that increase your brand awareness and sales conversions.

1. Make Your Ad Look Good and Consumers Will Feel Good (About Your Business)

painting industry direct mail
The first step to exceptional advertising design is obvious: make sure your ad looks good! Sounds simple, right? And it is! The color scheme in our example is brand consistent and inviting. The consumer knows immediately that this is a painting business through the use of excellent graphic design coupled with the on-brand color palette. The offers are eye-catching – not to mention enticing!

There are different formats for ad templates, too. Direct mail coupon inserts, flyers or postcards will reach your target audience with a different size, providing you with creative solutions based on your ultimate goal – and budget.

2. Motivate Consumers With an Offer They Can’t Refuse

salon direct mail
The painting business example features eye-catching offers, but they’re not the only ones that spotlight their impressive pricing deals! In this salon ad, the client used experience and data to determine the offers that their target audience acts on the most. More so, the salon client provided value to its audience without taking huge risks that could lose them money. Appropriate offers ensure your target customer is motivated to try your business without you taking a loss on your product or service.

While the offers are all compelling, one stands out: the salon advertises a new client special AND an existing client special! They give a prospective customer a reason to try their business and reward loyal clients with a substantial deal.

Need help coming up with offers for your business? This infographic can help!

3. Grab Headlines With Clever Copy & Clear Fonts

maid service direct mail

One of the easiest ways to grab your audience’s attention is with clear, concise ad copy.

What you say is as important as how you say it – so use easy-to-read fonts and typography. You may have an entertainment business and want to show your company’s personality in your ad. There are more than half a billion fonts out there so it might seem like a daunting task (and for beginners, it is) but having the right typeface can pay dividends – and with so many to choose from, finding one that isn’t Wingdings or Script will be easy!

Platforms like Canva can give you a huge push in the right direction. They have templates for social media ads, video ads, web design – you name it! However, suppose that’s a bit overwhelming. In that case, a marketing specialist will be able to help you create the best ad for your needs: Facebook ad designs, banner ads, print ads, billboards and more that enable you to get your point across clearly and effectively.

4. Recruit the Right Candidates With Thoughtful Ad Design

recruiting direct mail
If you’re like many growing businesses, you need to recruit the best candidates in your area. But if you’re only advertising at your store or on your website, you’re only recruiting your customers and could be missing out on attracting talent. Launching a direct mail campaign increases your chances of recruiting ideal candidates because you choose who receives your ad.

You can mail to a specific demographic with solo direct mail or target an area around your business with inserts and postcards to really stand out. The client in the examples makes clever use of stock photos and includes pertinent information that a job candidate is looking for. On the back, they included a QR code that linked to the online job posting to make applying easy!

5. Add Some Seasoning to Your Ad

ad images of edible arrangments
One way to knock it out of the park and up those conversion rates is to change your ad design with the seasons. In our example, Edible Arrangements™ uses a fun holiday spin so current (and prospective) customers know their product and understand how it can be used for various needs, holidays, and much more. This is a powerful ad because it’s very likely some consumers who received it not only saw a clear message but also learned how innovative and diverse the company can be.

In their marketing strategy, the client considered who their target audience is, what need their product/service fulfills and provided enticing offers as a call to action. They’ll stand out among the crowd by using original, in this case, St. Patrick’s Day ideas that will keep their business top of mind during the holiday season—that’s effective advertising!

More Ad Design Tips

You’re one step closer to building an effective ad design! It’s all about giving consumers what they want to see and are motivated by. The clients featured in this blog have researched, listened to advice and used data to determine how they can get the biggest bang for their advertising dollar.

And you can too with Valpak! Our advertising professionals will walk you through all the available formats, how to create the best print ad and how digital ads can extend your reach even further. Contact your local Valpak office today to get started.